Rope Length


Original Post
Peter M · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 0

So i assume this has been asked again and again, but being new to the forum ive sort of struggled with searching threw all the posts. 

Im moving to Ashville NC area in a couple of weeks and i will have access to tons of climbing this summer but i need a rope. Rumbling Bald will be my main place that i will go from looking around and they have a lot of decent sport routes. I havent learned trad yet. 

My question is rope length, the sport routes pretty commonly go past 100feet. Quite a few i would love to do are 110ft and 125ft. But the majoirty of my climbs i assume will be around 50-80 feet with my wife. Do i just find a good deal on 60meter rope? or should i not limit myself on the tall routes and get a 70m or even a 80m rope. I also have goals in the future of trad climbing and dreaming big would be doing big wall climbs in a few years but i assume ill want to get a rope specific  for that anyways. 


So what should a first rope be for this summer of 50feet to 125 feet of sport climbing along with learning to trad climb. Thanks for any help guys!

Creed A · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 740

If you know you have some longer pitches in mind, I'd get a 70. And put a knot in the end. 

Parker Wrozek · · Denver, CO · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 83

Rumbling Bald is typically a winter climbing spot. You might want to search around a bit for better options. When I was in Ashville we only trad climbed but I remember many of the sport climbs near there requiring a top belay and the second bringing up another rope to rap off. I typically am a fan of 70M cords but it is a result of where I live mostly. 

Andrewww · · Concord, NH · Joined Mar 2014 · Points: 620

You can find 80m ropes for not much more than 70's, sometimes cheaper. Then when you need to trim the ends you still have at least a 70m. 

Chris Fedorczak · · Portland, OR · Joined Dec 2016 · Points: 0

Personally, I'd get a 70m. I've yet to climb on something that requires an 80m. An occasional two rope rappel? Sure, but you'll meet people that have their own rope.

Brian Abram · · Celo, NC · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 483

Beware that most of the bolted routes there will feel more runout than is standard for most sport climbing areas. I have been climbing here for nearly 20 years, and I've never owned more than a 60m rope. Getting off some routes requires a tag line. You will not climb much at Rumbling Bald in the summer. Never mind the air temperature, on sunny days the rock gets literally too hot to touch.

Peter M · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 0

Wow thanks for all the feedback, very interesting about not climbing in the summer. Maybe I might attempt some bouldering on the north side of some rocks. And I feel pretty confident in getting a 70m now. Thanks guys! 

Brian Abram · · Celo, NC · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 483

The boulderfield turns into a chigger infested poison ivy thicket in the summer. It's doable, but it's better to head to somewhere like the north side of Looking Glass, Cedar, or head toward the High Country crags or boulders

Downtownt Kay · · Everett, WA · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 110
Peter M wrote:

Wow thanks for all the feedback, very interesting about not climbing in the summer. Maybe I might attempt some bouldering on the north side of some rocks. And I feel pretty confident in getting a 70m now. Thanks guys! 

Because 60m pretty much only function to frustrate me, esp at my local crag. 70m is the standard...

Also, because Honnold:

'Alex Honnold was recently climbing at Index. He was being lowered from a climb. The rope went through the device his belayer was using. He fell a short distance and fractured two vertebrae.

What is there to say other than this is a frequently reported accident.
Here’s the report from

publications.americanalpine...

“I had run up the route Godzilla (5.9) to put up a top-rope for my girlfriend and her family. At the last second her parents asked us to hang their rope instead of ours. I didn't think about it, but their rope was a 60m and mine was a 70m. I was climbing in approach shoes and everyone was chatting at the base—super casual, very relaxed. As I was lowering, we ran out of rope a few meters above the ground and my belayer accidentally let the end of the rope run through her brake hand and belay device. I dropped a few meters onto pretty gnarly rocks, landing on my butt and side and injuring my back a bit (compression fracture of two vertebrae).
Analysis
Lots of things should have been done better—we should have thought about how long the rope was, we should have been paying more attention, we should have had a knot in the end of the rope. I wasn't wearing a helmet and was lucky to not injure my head—had I landed on my head, it probably would have been disastrous. My belayer had been climbing less than a year. Basically, things were all just a bit too lax. (Source: Alex Honnold.)” '

Chris Fedorczak · · Portland, OR · Joined Dec 2016 · Points: 0

Moral of the above story: Always always tie knots in the ends of the rope.

Downtownt Kay · · Everett, WA · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 110
Chris Fedorczak wrote:

Moral of the above story: Always always tie knots in the ends of the rope.

yes and also use a 70m with ends tied. 60m would be shenanigans to lower anyway.
most of the climbs are LTW, at least...

DougEvolves · · orting,wa · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 20

get a 70m you'll be a happy climber. you'll rarely question if you have enough rope for the route.  

extra rope on the ground > dangling on the knot wondering what to do next

Peter M · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 0

Thanks guys i really appreciate the feedback, you made this deciesion super easy! and thats such a bummer to hear that rumbling bald turns really crappy in the summer. Ill have to find other things to ocupy my time this summer, maybe kayaking lol, but i want to climb haha

Bill Lawry · · New Mexico · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,497

There's not much overhead in bringing a 70m rope to a single-pitch crag with short approach. They tend to be skinnier though than advertised shorter ropes. The wrong belay device for a rope can be problematic.

Personnaly, for long multi-pitch, I'd grump at pulling an extra 30 feet of rope up after every lead.

Jonathan Dull · · Boone, NC · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 405

NC has some good summer destinations and climbing early in the AM before the heat gets out of control is recommended. It's already been said, but I also recommended a 70M for NC - because it's likely you'll climb at other destinations other than just the Bald. NC has LOTS of quality climbing, with a great variety as well. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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